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For some time I’ve wanted a fountain pen. There is no logical reason to this. I remember my grandparents writing with them, especially when they had something important to do like writing a letter or signing their name to something. There is something classy about a fountain pen; it is like showing up to theatre in formal attire. Ballpoint pens get the job done but feel a bit shoddy, like always eating in fast food restaurants. Pens are not all the same; I find the type and ‘feel’ influences my writing. While holding a good pen, I find I write more slow, and with better penmanship.

Fountain pens (I believe) require patience to learn how to use them properly. One doesn’t write quickly but slowly with finesse of holding a fine instrument, which is one of the points of using one. I suspect the long, lingering stylish sentences I read in 19th century novels were written by a fountain pen. Typing on a keyboard seems to suggest writing quickly with short words, which is the opposite of the prose from a fountain pen. Typing requires less thinking; if you type something wrong or you don’t like, you just back peddle erase and go on. One doesn’t pull that sort of stuff using a fountain pen. One has to be careful and pause, before putting ink to paper.

I went on the internet to a look-see at fountain pens. Patience above! These suckers are expensive! I will need to find me a ‘beginner’s pen’, one not too expensive, lest I try and find it impossible and I have wasted money. I am also left-handed, which makes me wary of fountain pens in general. I found a fountain pen shop in NYC that resembles the wand shop from the ‘Harry Potter’ books. You find one that ‘feels right’ for you. Wouldn’t that be fun to do!

Other than signing prescriptions (which I don’t want to spend time doing) the only place to use a fountain pen is my paper journal. It may encourage me to write better prose than dash off half-baked sentences.

I certainly don’t need to spend money on a silly whim of a fountain pen, but it is something I covet. I may get one for my pending 60th birthday this summer.

Does anyone have a fountain pen? What type do you use and like?

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March 2022

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